Genes reveal how whales evolved for ocean life

Approximately 54 million years ago, whales and other cetaceans diverged from land-dwelling mammals and gradually evolved to live a productive life at sea.

A new study published in the journal Nature Genetics revealed genetic evidence of how whales evolved the ability to dive deep into the ocean for long periods of time and how they developed a specialized feeding system that uses baleen instead of teeth.

In the study, a team of international geneticists sequenced the genomes of three minke whales, a fin whale, a bottlenose dolphin, and a finless porpoise and analyzed them for adaptations to physiological stresses caused by a lack of oxygen, increased reactive oxygen species, and a high-salt living environment.

Read the full, original story here: Genes Reveal How Whales Evolved For Ocean Life

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